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Social 24

  • Bars and pubs
  • City of London
  • price 3 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out Says

4 out of 5 stars

As anyone with a functioning neck extension knows, the city’s skyline is changing; new skyscrapers are everywhere, and you can raise a glass in many of them. But Tower 42 is the City of London original. Finished in 1980, it was the tallest building in the UK for ten years. Now, on the twenty-fourth floor, chef-about-town Jason Atherton has taken over a former Gary Rhodes restaurant, with an attached bar anyone can just show up to (via two lots of security, an escalator and at least one lift, that is).

In the bar, the food and drink is of a far higher standard than you might reasonably expect up a skyscraper. The cocktails are great, with just enough invention to make them worth the lofty prices. The Pea-lini at £11 comprises ‘salted pea cordial’, spearmint, absinthe, citric acid, prosecco, and something called ‘British summer’ – not hay-fever antihistamine bitters, but simply an edible flower. The Root of All Evil (£12) lists ‘mad paper’, which turns out to just be a money clip.

Bar snacks aren’t so decently priced, but do carry Atherton’s recognisably idiosyncratic details: a ‘ploughman’s basket’ (£15) came with cheese, bread and things in little jars, laid out picnic-style in front of us on a checked cloth.

London’s tall buildings are increasingly described in breathlessly priapic terms – ‘thrusting’, ‘colossal’, ‘pricking the skies’, etc. But City Social’s proximity to fellow skyscrapers does mean its view can invoke serious high-rise envy – especially in the glass-walled gents’, where the view will be more spectacular than usual for most.

Written by Euan Ferguson


Tower 42
25 Old Broad St
Tube: Liverpool Street
Noon-midnight Mon-Sat.
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